If there were a contest between winter, spring, summer, and fall for “the most fun season of the year,” summer would probably win. What other season holds the promise of beach vacations, sun-kissed skin, and long, lazy days?
As enjoyable as summer is, it can also be hazardous. For example, hundreds of people die each year during summertime due to heat overexposure. Others become severely dehydrated or dangeously sunburned. You can have a safe and memorable summer by limiting your heat exposure, drinking enough water, and protecting yourself from the sun.
3 Critical Summer Safety Tips
1. Limit your heat exposure – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were over 7,000 deaths between 1999 and 2009 in the U.S. alone caused by prolonged exposure to heat. Many of these deaths were a result of heat stroke. AccuWeather.com staff writer Michael Kuhne quoted the director of Integrative Pain Management at The Mount Sinai Hospital Houman Danesh, MD:
“A heat stroke is when a patient’s temperature rises to 105 °F (41°C) , which can result in nausea, fever, confusion and loss of consciousness.”
Kuhne stated, “Victims of heat stroke may experience headache, dizziness, lack of sweating, muscle cramps, rapid heart rate and fainting.” Individuals experiencing these symptoms should immediately call 911, get to an air-conditioned area, and use ice and/or water to cool themselves down.
On the bright side, preventing heat stroke is fairly easy. The Mayo Clinic recommends doing the following to prevent heat stroke: wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing; apply SPF 15+ every 2 hours; wear a hat and sunglasses; and more. Also, limiting heat exposure in general will reduce your risk of heat-related illness.
2. Drink enough water – In the summertime, drinking enough water can make the difference between feeling fine and getting sick with heat exhaustion or heat stroke. “Enough” water varies from person to person. To be safe, drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily. It’s adviseable that you drink more than this when you are sweating.
3. Protect yourself from the sun – Protecting yourself from the sun is a must during summer months. As mentioned earlier, wearing a hat, sunglasses, and especially sunscreen is vital when heat is intense. If you wear a high enough SPF, you can totally prevent sunburn. Sunburn decreases your body’s ability to cool itself down, which is why wearing sunscreen is key to staying healthy during summer. Again, apply an SPF of at least 15 every 2 hours when you are outdoors.
With just an ounce of prevention, you can avoid hot-weather hazards such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Take care of yourself this summer by limiting your heat exposure, drinking plenty of water, and protecting yourself from the sun.
Is there a summer safety tip we left out?